Side nav buttonsContactCVRESEARCHCOURSESBiography


Welcome to the interactive, virtual reality tour of the “Wu Family Shrines” cemetery site. Developed by Professor Anthony Barbieri-Low of the University of Pittsburgh, this tour is designed to give the viewer a sense of how this archaeological site in Shandong Province may have looked during the Han Dynasty, around 150-170 CE. The user can investigate each of the key monuments, read translations of the major inscriptions, and examine the pictorial carvings in the three reconstructed stone chambers at the site. Links to high-quality rubbings of the carvings and summaries of the stories and legends they allude to will help the user comprehend the visual world of a funerary complex from the second century in northeast China.


System Requirements:

The tour is cross-platform and runs equally well on Apple Macintosh (OS X) or Windows computers. The tour requires QuickTime Player 6.5 or higher to operate properly. Use with earlier versions of QuickTime may result in improper performance or system crash.

The latest version of QuickTime Player is preferred, and can be downloaded free of charge from

Monitor resolution should be set at 1024x768 or larger, and the display color set to “millions of colors” or “32-bit color.”

A broadband connection is highly recommended to download the interactive tour, which is 40Mb in size. Estimated download times include:

T1-LAN: 10 sec.-2 min.
DSL 1.5 mbps: 4-6 min.
DSL 1.0 mbps: 7-8 min.
DSL 512 kbps: 13-15 min.
Cable modem: 5-8 min.
56k modem: 2-3 hours.

To begin the tour, simply CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE. If the QuickTime Player application is properly installed, that program will launch and begin the tour download. While you are waiting for the download to complete, you can read the instructions for using the virtual reality interface.

Project Methodology:

The project began in the summer of 2002 with a visit to the Wuzhai Shan site in Jiaxiang County, Shandong Province. Professor Barbieri-Low and Dr. Cary Liu, Curator of Asian Art at the Princeton University Art Museum, surveyed the site and made detailed measurements and sketches of the surviving carved stones. During a subsequent visit in 2004, Professor Barbieri-Low registered GPS readings of all the main features at the site, noting their position, elevation, and orientation.

Then, using 3D modeling software, Professor Barbieri-Low created wire-frame, computer models of each monument at the site, based on published measurements, photographs, and personal observations. The basic architectural reconstruction of each shrine was based on the published work of Jiang Yingju and Wu Wenqi. Professor Barbieri-Low then covered the surfaces of each model with scaled, partially-restored copies of the rubbings from the collection of the Princeton University Art Museum. A simulated stone texture was then created for the surface, using photographic samples of actual Shandong limestone. The monuments were then placed in a virtual landscape, whose basic features were based on published satellite photos of the site. The reconstruction of the overall layout of the cemetery was based on the position of standing monuments and tombs at the site, textual descriptions of similar cemeteries from the Shuijingzhu (Commentary on the Classic of Waterways), and on analogous cemetery sites excavated in Anhui Province.

The project was funded by generous grants from Princeton University Art Museum with funds from the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Central Research Development Fund of the Office of Research at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

Please direct any comments, suggestions, or corrections to

Educators who would like to acquire a standalone version of the tour for classroom use may direct their inquiries to the same address.

The interactive tour is © 2005 Anthony Barbieri-Low. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of copyright law. All the images of rubbings presented in the shrines are the property of the Princeton University Art Museum. The translations of inscriptions in the “Wu Liang Shrine” (Stone Chamber 3) are taken from Wu Hung, The Wu Liang Shrine (Stanford Univ.Press, 1989), with minor modifications. Site photographs were taken by Dr. Cary Liu in the summer of 2004. Beta-testing performed by Sheri Lullo, Ph.D. candidate, University of Pittsburgh.